News from the Provost

November 1, 2018

Dear Cherished Kresge Alumni, Staff, and Faculty,


The deep and broad community of Kresge College has expressed so much sadness in these last few days, to say a very fond farewell to Professor Helene Moglen, who passed away on October 18. The debt we owe to Helene—a professor of Literature and Feminist Studies, Dean of Arts of Humanities, and Provost of Kresge College from 1978 to 1983—is great; not only for her foundational leadership, but in the many years since then, as her voice has returned, reliably, to remind us of who we are, and to help us build strengths in the present and future. She is survived by Sheila Namir, her partner since 2001, whom she married in 2016; her sister Glorya Hale; her sons Eben, Damon and Seth; and her three grandchildren, Dylan, Pierre, and Morgan Moglen. An online guestbook is available where words of remembrance may be read and expressed; donations may be made in her memory to the Center for Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz.


In her own testimony, and in that of former Campus Provost Robert Kliger, Provost Moglen was a tremendous force in moving Kresge—always an intense college, and sometimes a troubled one, with a complex and difficult early history—into a new era of openness, connection, and visibility to the larger world around us. And she cherished that work, deeply:


I loved being provost. It really was a way of working with young people very creatively … around the edges of what was possible, and trying to resolve problems in informal ways that made a lot of sense. And at that time it was possible.


Helene gave generously of her time to those who asked. As I began as Provost three years ago, she urged me to work thoughtfully but collaboratively, and offered many gifts of experience in support of that; despite her already long service to this campus, she always wanted to give more. She recognized, to me, the 'storied' Kresge as a thriving center of the most visionary, the most verdant, the most thoughtfully radical, and Romantic commitments to everyday greatness. Yet she understood just as much that we are a place with vulnerabilities and unmet potentials—and happily, a place where the future opens seemingly beyond normal institutional limits.


Professor Moglen was a scholar of, among other things, writing-as-activism, and of conscious pedagogy. No wonder then, that she distinguished herself as a Provost, giving Kresge a forward edge of accountability and justice. In her tenure she persuaded both the American Studies and History of Consciousness programs to reside in our remote woods, and by all accounts, she transported Kresge’s rich aspirational tradition, intact, into a present world that could make sense to a whole, diverse community. A community in which power, with all its flaws and challenges, would at least be visible, open to criticism, and ready for meaningful influence by otherwise marginal voices.


Helene’s contributions to all of UCSC over many years—to the Cultural Studies Colloquium, to teachers’ and learners’ organizing efforts, and in support of public education—were full and vital. She was a scholar and writer of possibly unparalleled richness in our community; at the same time, to her conversations with so many of us, she brought the modest warmth and love of an ever-attentive and unassuming friend. She will be intensely missed, and yet her presence felt, by a community in which collaboration might still truly be possible. Thank you, Helene, for all you have brought to us.


Peace profound,



Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge College Provost


April 25, 2018

Dear friends, family, and alumni of Kresge College!

We're excited to announce a new way to be a part of Kresge’s increasingly vital network of support: The Kresge College Annual Fund.

As many of you know, Kresge’s endowment is perilously small—the smallest among UCSC’s colleges. We are buoyed by generous one-time donations that support specific projects, but each year, to fulfill core missions, we find we must stretch dwindling state funds further and further. We think Kresge students deserve more. So we’re asking you, as cherished Kresge affiliates, and on the eve of our exciting rebuild, to give. Help us restore a tradition of intrepid, participatory education, and put Kresge on a path toward true renewal. Donate today.

Want to learn more about our vision for this new fund? We’d love to have your input.

You’ve already given so much to Kresge, and your commitment to the annual fund can be transformative. We hope you’ll consider contributing.

Adolfo Mercado
Kresge '98
Kresge Alumni Advisory Board Member

Ben Leeds Carson

Kresge Provost


February 27, 2018

Dear Kresge Students,

Tomorrow is Giving Day — a chance for the wider community to make a difference in what we do here at Kresge College.

Kresge lives to educate, and educates to live. One important piece of the Kresge community is the varied energy and inspiration of its cooperative student organizations: the Food Coop, the Garden Coop, the Photography Coop, and the Music Coop. For Giving Day this year, we are asking alumni, and our broader community, to donate to the cooperatives, and specifically to support new student-driven initiatives toward their publicity, development, fora, and educational opportunities.

Please help spread the word about our project with anyone in your network that might be interested in helping out. And ... I don’t make this next request lightly ... but if you feel comfortable doing so, please also consider reaching out to your own family, or giving something small yourself. A large number of even very small donations (even as little as $5) sends a *powerful* message about who we are, and how much we care about our community, to other prospective financial partners in Kresge’s future. Of course, you already give to Kresge in many ways. Your commitment to your fellow students, to our intellectual community, to service and leadership, to our nurturing of compassion, conversations about justice, and our respect for consensus-building and productive dissent—in short your commitment to full participation in our community—is among the greatest gifts we could hope for.

If anyone you know is interested in donating to Kresge’s Giving Day project, please let them know that the time to give is any time tomorrow, February 28th — and it’s tax-deductible. 

We’d especially like to encourage Kresge supporters to donate between 6:00-8:00 p.m., which would put us in the running for a matching donation, if our project receives the largest number of unique donations. And we are sharing updates and links via Facebook and Twitter, so please do follow us if you don’t already!

With appreciation,

Ben Leeds Carson
Kresge College Provost


January 10, 2018

Provost Ben Leeds Carson wrote a letter to the LA Times about the easy stereotyping of UC Santa Cruz: "An education at UC Santa Cruz? We'd all be lucky to have one"


January 7, 2018

Dear Students of Kresge College,


Welcome home to Kresge! And I know I speak for all returning students when I offer a warm welcome the many new transfer students who join our community at the start of this quarter. For decades, Kresge has openly strived to make its newest members the heart of the community. Let’s honor that tradition by hearing their voices and making this just as much their home as it is the home of longtime Kresge citizens.


More than any college at UCSC, Kresge is known for students who take initiative, and who shape their college experience in collaboration with its notoriously passionate faculty and staff. Informally, we're also the “transfer college”—claiming among the highest numbers of transfers year by year, and serving as the host of UCSC’s Services for Transfer And Reorientation Students (STARS). We’re proud that the current president of the UCSC Alumni Council, Kresge alumnus Adolfo Mercado, was also a transfer student, and his continuing involvement in the life of UCSC attests to the importance of the transfer community in making us who we are today.

Now for some important announcements — mark your calendars!

  • Still looking for another 2 credits in your schedule? Try enrolling in Provost Carson’s Kresge 18: Natural History Practicum, a popular course now for more than two years. Despite the official listed time, we’re bumping it forward 15 minutes to Tuesdays at 8:00 AM. That might seem early, but it’s worth it — join us to learn about observing the complex wilderness + human habitat of the UCSC campus. It features 5 amazing guests who take us on some of the best nature hikes you can hope to experience.

  • January 24th and February 22nd, 4:00-5:30 pm (Provost House) — Tea and Cookies. Here’s a chance to break your usual routine to come by my place for a chat about how things are going ... or just get some down time with a warm beverage and snacks. And feel free to bring a friend!

  • January 25th at 7:10 PM (Kresge Town Hall) — Winona La Duke, an activist who “spent years successfully fighting the Sandpiper pipeline, a pipeline similar to Dakota Access” (Democracy Now!), and director of Honor the Earth, promises to be one of the high-points of our Common Ground Center series. Her talk will address Standing Rock, the importance fo divestment campaigns, and investing in the “New Energy Economy.”

  • February 13th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) Martha Mendoza, our second Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist this year—and a Kresge alum!—will be the next guest of Kresge’s Media and Society Series. A contributor to Bloomberg and the Washington Post, Mendoza specializes in reporting on immigration and human trafficking, poverty, the environment, and the economics Silicon Valley. Join us afterwards for a pizza reception at the Provost Residence. RSVP here or email Beth Hernandez-Jason

  • March 6th at 5:30 PM (Kresge Seminar Room) — Conn Hallinan joins the Media and Society Series (see above) to retell the history of journalism, and to invite students to a critical inquiry into our relationship with the news. Conn is a former Provost of Kresge College, a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, and a blogger at Dispatches from the Edge.


Finally, as a reminder, the deadline for the Student Project Fund is tomorrow —submit your application to Beth Hernandez-Jason by midnight on January 8th. The second round of applications are due February 8th, so if you’re not quite ready now, you still have time.  


Happy New Year, and please stay warm!


Ben Leeds Carson

Provost, Kresge College | UCSC


Email Provost Ben Leeds Carson at

Archived messages from the Provost:

November 2017 - Annual report

March 2017

February 2017

February 2016

See Also